Sunday, May 31, 2015

Bellingham WA stopvover

On our way to Bellingham from Roche Harbor we stopped for the night at Echo Bay.   This large cove is among the finger islands and offers a peaceful place to enjoy the evening or a week.  We plan to go ashore next time we stop in.  Several mooring balls and a lateral mooring line run along the back of the harbor but there is plenty of room for anchoring.  It was a cool and rainy evening but  
peaceful and calm. 

The view as we enter the finger islands of Sucia Island.

Left for Bellingham WA, only about 19 miles away after a leisurely breakfast.  Smooth crossing of Rosario Strait led us to Bellingham Yacht Club dock for the evening.  Our friend Dennis from Sea Fox N55 met us at the dock and helped us settle in a tight slip just below the clubhouse.  We moved the next day to a slip on the outer edge of the harbor.  Its a long walk from the slip to the shore and just 4 round trips a day provides me with the 10,000 steps per day that my exercise tracker goal demands.  Keela normally goes along for the walks and they assure she will sleep well that evening. 

One highlight of our time in Bellingham was a tour of the Boeing factory in Everette WA.  The size of the operation is hard to wrap your head around.  The assembly building below is the largest building (by volume) in the world.   (472,370,319 cu ft) and covers 98.3 acres.  This is the factory where the wide-body Boeing 747,767777, and 787 are assembled.  

In addition to the plant tour Boeing has an educational display that includes the electric airplane below and several jet engines with the covers removed.

The complexity of the fuel delivery piping on a 787 jet engine below

We left the factory just at shift change in the afternoon and were quickly reminded of why we enjoy living on a boat and cruising without a rental car most of the time.

Bellingham is a waterfront community with roots in the fishing and oil refining business.  Good rail transportation and a large bay provide plenty of ways to commercialize  the water.   Odds are if you are walking on concrete docks they came from Bellingham Marine.  Fishing is still a major industry with cold storage and processing operations shoreside.  The commercial docks were filled when we visited.

Took advantage of the commercial operations and fueled WORKNOT at commercial pier.  The price was favorable and the service first rate.  We backed into a slip under the harbor crane and a fuel truck sent a hose down to us.  The driver was patient with the slow (relative to a fishboat)  of 1100 gallons of fuel and genuinely concerned with spillage.  It took just under 2 hours to  complete the transfer.  We last bought fuel in La Paz Mexico last year.  We hold 1300 gallons so it was time.  Glad fueling only happens a few times a year!

Dennis and Julie gave us the VIP treatment in Bellingham including a tour of the area and its rich background in lumber, farming and fishing.  A great place to live for at least 6 months during the summer.  Still not sure I'm ready for cold weather.  We got crab pots and salmon fishing gear and now ready to head north.  Hope to catch at least enough crab and salmon to break even on the gear purchase.

We get to see a wide variety of boats during our travels.  Over the years the idea of a yacht has evolved and stayed the same in may aspects.

Left Bellingham for Pender Island.  We will clear customs into Canada here before heading to Vancouver.   

BOX SCORE   4 HOURS 13 Gallons 29 Miles 

Keela wondering what's for dinner.  

Monday, May 25, 2015

5/7/15 Garrison Bay San Juan Island

The adventure gets better each stop!  On advice of our friends Julie and Dennis (SeaFox N55) WORKNOT headed to Garrison Bay.  Just around the corner from Roche Harbor this little bay was teaming with Bald Eagles, smooth water, great sunsets and warm breezes.

Our arrival was the same day as a Grand Banks rendezvous was getting organized.  Well over 80 GB's, all sporting newly done varnish and looking very sharp for the biggest GB event on the west coast.  Having owned 2 GB's it was great to see so many 42's and 46's in one place.  I did not miss the teak work but they are outstanding looking boats and really gave birth to the recreational trawler market.

Roche Harbor has a private air port, numerous parks, private homes, condos, hotels and plenty of things to do.  Commercially the port was a major limestone and cement facility dating form the late 1800's.  

Near the private airport is a collection of sculptures with over 75 pieces of artwork all set in acres of rolling green fields.  This is just one example that caught my attention.   The detail photo gives a clue on why I found it so interesting.

Detail of the above work

You can stay at these small cabins all within walking distance of the main hotel and restaurants.

 Great name for a chapel, its still standing and operating.  (Opened in 1892)   Thousands have passed by this waterfront chapel on voyages as simple as ours to Bellingham (36 Miles) or half way around the world to England.

Our primary mode of transportation for the next few months.  On the way to Roche Harbor cut a corner and found the bottom a long way from shore.  Plan to add a depth finder when we get to Bellingham.   Nothing fancy but it will be nice to know when it gets skinny.

Just behind our anchorage is an park where the English who occupied the island were headquartered.  On the other end of the island there is American camp.  San Juan Island was reluctantly shared.

A brief history below and reference to the great "Pig War".

In 1843, the Hudson's Bay Company established Fort Camosun at nearby Vancouver Island. The 1846 Oregon Treaty established the 49th parallel as the boundary between Canada and the U.S. west to the middle of the Strait of Georgia, and then by the main channel south to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and from there westwards to the open ocean. While both sides agreed that all of Vancouver Island would remain British, the treaty did not specify which channel the boundary should follow between the Strait of Georgia and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, resulting in a boundary dispute. This dispute, though simmering immediately in the wake of the treaty, escalated in the 1850s. In 1852 the Territory of Oregon created Island County, defined to include the San Juan Islands (or "Haro Archipelago"). In 1853 Island County became part of the newly created Washington Territory.[6] Washington Territory's legislature created Whatcom County out of parts of Island County, including the San Juan Islands. In 1855 Washington Territory levied a property tax on properties of the Hudson's Bay Company on San Juan Island, which the HBC refused to pay. Washington Territory then advertised and sold the properties to satisfy the unpaid taxes. This led to talks between the governors of Washington Territory and the Colony of Vancouver Island. It soon became clear that the US claimed Haro Strait as the international border, while Britain claimed Rosario Strait, with both sides laying claim to the San Juan Islands.[7] The escalating dispute led to the Pig War in 1859 and the resulting San Juan Dispute, which was a protracted diplomatic confrontation. Effectively a stalemate, with no clear legal arguments, it continued until the boundary issue was eventually placed in the hands of Emperor Wilhelm I of Germany for arbitration in 1871. The border, through Haro Strait, was finally established in 1872.

English camp had a parade ground, English style gardens, barracks, ammunition storage and private homes for officers and their families.  Expect being sent to duty at English Camp was more of reward than a duty.

BOX SCORE:   5 hours   20 gallons 33 miles

Another tough day for Keela as she does guard duty overlooking the anchorage.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Neah Bay to Port Angeles Washington 5/3/15

After clearing the crab trap from the anchor headed for Port Angeles 58 miles to the east.  We delayed our departure until about 9AM to minimize the ebb tide effect.  I was surprised how big the ocean swells were almost all the way to Port Angeles.  They were not steep but 4-5 foot and occasionally broke as the current impacted them at points along the way.

A pod of Orca's was outbound and we saw a couple of other whales.  The smell of pine trees along with the ocean breeze is really invigorating.  This PNW thing may be all its cracked up to be.

Randy, our friend who has been a day ahead of us most of the way up the coast (Antipodes) took this shot from the spit as we entered Port Angeles.   Its a busy commercial harbor with a comfortable marina for pleasure boats.

Surprising, this offshore oil platform was being completed in the outer harbor.  Its massive.  The tug boats are about 90 feet long.  Security was tight as we passed by the platform, a guard boat shadowed us until we turned into the marina.  Later we found out the environmental protection community has been protesting the presence of the platform and Seattle is making them reapply for a permit to bring it into the harbor there.  Shell plans to take the rig to Alaska when completed.  The local news reports say Seattle should not be a part of oil drilling and its support.   Looks like a lot of jobs could be taken somewhere else even with no environmental drilling risk to the local waters.

One of the first stores we saw on the way to town was this one.  Surprising to this Kentucky boy there were not selling young roses.......

Well let's hope its legal......Wonder where the illegal stuff is sold?

 Rented a car and went to the Olympic National Park.  Nice drive to Hurricane Ridge complete with a little snow.  Temps went from high 50's to 30 in about 15 minutes.  The overlook was covered in clouds from about 4,000 ft up the crest.

Just one of the great vistas from the mountain.

Port Angeles has a charming downtown area on the waterfront and plenty of provisioning opportunities.  Its a major port for the logging industry and there remains some commercial fishing activity.  Friendly people and a really good, old fashioned fisherman's restaurant in the marina.  Lunch special one day was ribs AND  fried chicken served with mashed potatoes.  (Your choice of gravy)

Visited Port Townsend and on the way stopped at Sequim for lunch.   At the end of a long winding road we found a launch ramp and a few picnic tables to enjoy our Chinese take out.   This memorial was well kept and intact.  Placed in 1944 it's titled "Freedom Is Not Free".

Box Score  8 Hours, 31 gallons, 60 miles 3.875 gallons/hr.   

 Next we move to Garrison Bay near Roche Harbor on San Juan Island.

Newport to Neah Bay Washington-Entry to Pacific Northwest


The weather Gods smiled at us and a widow opened up that would allow us to run 240 miles in relatively good weather and seas.  The forecast was 4-6 ft @ 10 seconds, improving north of the Columbia River Bar.  We left Newport at day break and slack water over the bar.  We met a USCG boat towing a fishing boat at the mouth of the harbor.  After a small delay to let the tow clear the bar we were on our way.   


Our timing across the Columbia River was just at sunset and the river was ebbing.  Even 18 miles offshore the current slowed our progress to just 6 kts.   As we crossed north of the river speed increased to almost 9 kts evening out the lost time south of the river.  Seas were on the beam, 6' at 10-12 seconds with the occasional larger wave coming thru.   Things settled down the further north we got and by the time the sun came up 3-5' seas with light winds were a welcome relief.  

Turned east at noon and entered Strait of Juan deFuca.  Neah Bay is only a few hours into the Strait and includes a large bay and marina behind a second breakwater.  Wind and current made for a difficult landing and a stern thruster would be a great addition for WORKNOT.   No paint was scratched but it took a couple of tries to lay the starboard beam against the dock to windward.  By the time we got tied up and checked in the wind died down.  Timing is everything.........
The harbor is on the Makai Indian reservation.  The small village is an active tourist destination focused on fishing.  Evidence of the tribe being on this isolated point for 3,800 years is displayed in a very well done museum confirming they are indeed a hearty people.



Archaeological research suggests that the Makah people have inhabited the area now known as Neah Bay for more than 3,800 years. The ancient Makah lived in villages, inhabiting large longhouses made from western red cedar. These longhouses had cedar-plank walls. The planks could be tilted or removed to provide ventilation or light. The cedar tree was of great value to the Makah, who utilized its bark to make clothing and hats. Cedar roots were used in basket making, while canoes were carved from whole trees to hunt sealsgray whales and humpback whales. The Makah acquired much of their food from the ocean. Their diet consisted of whale, seal, fish, and a wide variety of shellfish. They would also hunt deer, elk, and bear from the surrounding forests.
Much of what is known about the way of life of the ancient Makah is derived from their oral tradition. There is also an abundance of archeological evidence of how the Makah lived.

Along the roadway are a number of signs condemning the use of drugs and the importance of honoring elders.  The best looking building we saw was a senior citizens support facility.  
Along the road, just off the sidewalk was perhaps, the smallest library in the world.  The titles were current and included a book Mary is reading off the New York Times Best Seller List.    

Our first anchoring event in the PNW was rewarded with a crab trap wrapped around the anchor chain.  We moved out of the marina and into Neah Bay for the evening, always preferring to be on the hook when available.  After cutting the lines the trap came off the anchor with just a boat hook and a little persuasion .   Got lucky this time.

 Bad habits for Keela continue, Magnum bars are her favorite, only after one of us removes the chocolate of course.

Box Scores  240 Miles   33 Hours   159 gallons   4.8 gal/hr  (Higher fuel consumption than usual due to unfavorable currents most of the way) 

A short trip to Port Angeles, about 50 miles away is next up as the PNW adventure begins......

Monday, May 4, 2015

Coos Bay to Newport Oregon


We were only in Coos Bay a couple of nights and it was windy and cool.   Lots of crabbing and fishing from the docks.  Very active transient float with fishing boats coming and going at all hours.   Its a true working harbor with very few pleasure boats anywhere.  Found some fresh crab and had a good dinner.   

The Coos Bay Post Office with hundreds of post office boxes.  My guess is many fishermen use this as a home base.  

This little boat was one of only a handful of non-commercial boats in the harbor.  Less than 20' but lots of style. 

While we were walking around Mary saw this collection of round cabins in the RV park next to the marina.   No cars or other indications of anyone around so Mary took a look in the window, only to be met by an unhappy woman staring back at her.  That one was occupied!  The look on Mary's face was that of a young kid caught with her hand in the cookie jar. 

Leaving Coos Bay over the bar was a non-issue with a parade of fishing boats heading out at first light with us.  The locals know when and how to cross the bar and this morning it was very smooth and there was very little wind.   Its always reassuring to see a 16' boat ahead of you doing well in the sea state.

Leaving Coos Bay at sunrise

The days are getting longer and we were able to leave Coos Bay at daybreak and arrive Newport well before sunset.  The tides even cooperated to give us a flood tide when we left and another flood tide to enter Newport.  The trip was uneventful, with 3-5 ft rolling seas and less than 20 kts of wind.  Running at 1400 RPM reduced our fuel consumption to 3.75 gal/hr.  We ran slower than normal to time the bar crossing with favorable flood tide.  

The Box Score:  12 hours / 84 miles / 45 gallons

Arriving at Newport gave us a great view of this iconic bridge.

The green hulled trawler behind us is Antipodes, friends we met on the CUBAR and traveled with in Mexico.  They are headed north as well.

Wikipedia -
Because of the long spans and heavily trafficked shipping channel, a cantilever construction was deemed most suitable; a draw span was rejected because it would have to be opened too often. Consequently the 793-foot (242 m) main span has 145 feet (44 m) of vertical clearance and is part of a 1,708-foot (521 m) long steel cantilever span. Overall length, including the concrete approach spans is 5,305 feet (1,617 m). The approach spans are concrete arches more typical of McCullough's designs.[5] The main roadway is 27 feet (8.2 m) wide with 3.5-foot (1.1 m) wide sidewalks on either side. The main towers rise 280 feet (85 m) above the water surface, with curved sway bracing in a Gothic arch style. The open-spandrel concrete approach arches vary in span from 265 feet (81 m) to 151 feet (46 m). The ends of the bridge are marked by pedestrian plazas meant to provide a viewing point for the bridge and to provide access to the shoreline. These plazas are detailed with Art Moderne motifs and are provided with built-in benches. The stairs are descend in sweeping curves to the park below.[1]

When the bridge was completed in 1936 it was the longest bridge in Oregon.[3] It was the costliest of the Oregon Coast bridges at $2.14 million (equivalent to approximately $35 million in 2012[4])

Impressive in detail the bridge was built using labor from the WPA
The Works Progress Administration (renamed in 1939 as the Work Projects AdministrationWPA) was the largest and most ambitious American New Deal agency, employing millions of unemployed people (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works projects,[1] including the construction of public buildings and roads. In a much smaller but more famous project, the Federal Project Number One, the WPA employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects.[1]
Almost every community in the United States had a new park, bridge or school constructed by the agency. The WPA's initial appropriation in 1935 was for $4.9 billion (about 6.7 percent of the 1935 GDP), and in total it spent $13.4 billion.[2]

At its peak in 1938, it provided paid jobs for three million unemployed men and women, as well as youth in a separate division, the National Youth Administration. Headed by Harry Hopkins, the WPA provided jobs and income to the unemployed during the Great Depression in the United States. Between 1935 and 1943, the WPA provided almost eight million jobs.[3] Full employment, which was reached in 1942 and emerged as a long-term national goal around 1944, was not the WPA's goal. It tried to provide one paid job for all families in which the breadwinner suffered long-term unemployment.[4] Robert D. Leighninger asserts that "The stated goal of public building programs was to end the depression or, at least, alleviate its worst effects. Millions of people needed subsistence incomes. Work relief was preferred over public assistance (the dole) because it maintained self-respect, reinforced the work ethic, and kept skills sharp."[5
A real tribute to the past generation and the spirit of the American worker!

Newport is a nice size town, Walmart and major grocery stores etc readily available by car but too long to walk across the bridge and get to the shopping areas.  Across the river from our marina the fishing boat harbor has a boardwalk and a number of excellent restaurants, an undersea garden and other tourist attractions.  The place is said to be overwhelming in the summer. 

By now you have figured out there are lots of naps on WORKNOT.  This one on the way to Newport.

Next move will be to Washington and Strait of Juan deFuca.